IPS: Chicagoland: Series race report

GOMEZ EDGES LLOYD IN CLOSEST RACE IN IRL HISTORY JOLIET, Ill, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007 -- Rookie Logan Gomez held off a final-lap charge from Indy Pro Series champion Alex Lloyd to win his first Indy Pro Series race by 0.0005 of a second. The...

GOMEZ EDGES LLOYD IN CLOSEST RACE IN IRL HISTORY

JOLIET, Ill, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007 -- Rookie Logan Gomez held off a final-lap charge from Indy Pro Series champion Alex Lloyd to win his first Indy Pro Series race by 0.0005 of a second.

The time and winner's 188.627 mph closing lap on the 1.52-mile oval equates to a margin of victory of 1.65 inches. The difference was the closest in the six years of the series -- and in Indy Racing League history.

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Panther Racing's Paul Sheehan (IndyCar Series) and Mitch Fink (Indy Pro Series) were voted Indy Racing League truck drivers of the year.

CHICAGOLAND 100 POST-RACE NOTES:

* This is Logan Gomez' first career Indy Pro Series win. His previous best finish was second at Nashville earlier this year.

* This is Sam Schmidt Motorsports' 22nd win in the Indy Pro Series. Gomez is the sixth driver to win for the team. Alex Lloyd (8), Thiago Medeiros (6), Travis Gregg (3), Jay Howard (2) and Jaime Camara (2) are the team's other race winners.

* The margin of victory was .0005 of a second. The closest finish in Indy Pro Series history and closest finish in Indy Racing League history.

* Alex Lloyd finished second, his 13th top-five finish in 16 starts this season.

* Robbie Pecorari finished third, his fourth top-five of the season.

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CHICAGOLAND 100 POST-RACE QUOTES:

LOGAN GOMEZ (No. 23 Isilon Systems/ Flacondos.net/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winner Chicagoland 100): "It feels great. Alex had a great run out there as well as us. I think that Sam Schmidt Motorsports was the class of the field today. It's great to go out with a win at the end of the year. I'm looking forward next to running in the Indy Pro Series possibly. You couldn't ask for anything else. We progressed from not finishing races at the beginning of the year to winning a race at the end of the year, so it's just been a steady progression. Hopefully we can start here next year." (About running side-by-side at the front of the pack): "That was my first time, especially with Alex. I knew he'd race me clean, and I did the favor back to him. To race side-by-side with somebody like that who is going places is really a great feeling. To beat him is even better. It's about as close as you can get a finish. I couldn't ask for much more out of this series." (About having Davey Hamilton as spotter): "He was the biggest help, dodging a few of those wrecks. We were pretty close to a few - the first big one with Chris Festa and Jaime Camara. We were on the high side going three wide, and we just barely missed it." (About having a lot of friends and family here): "Yeah, a lot of family and friends here. It's great. Other than Indy, I can't think of a better place to win."

SAM SCHMIDT (Owner, Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "It's one of those things you've got to pinch yourself. It's beyond remarkable. Nine wins, leading the most laps, capping it off this way is just phenomenal. Alex is a true professional, true gentleman. They played the right game there at the end to pull away from everybody else and settle it the last lap. I thought coming off of (Turn) 4 that Alex had it won, but Logan had just enough speed at the end. I don't know that it will ever get any closer than that. That's just really, really unbelievable. It's truly been a natural progression. We struggled early on, because he's really only got two years of four-wheel other than go-kart experience. It really is a way to cap off a perfect season just building momentum. He really didn't get comfortable on ovals until Iowa, and ever since then he's been fast. He did an incredible job, matured a ton this year."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon Systems/ Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished second): "We gave it all we could and we put on a good show. It's a great race for the series to finish up on. It's a shame, all the yellows, but I think the final few laps were pretty good. I had just been trying to figure out where I was going to go. I gave myself a little bit of room coming through turn one and two to really suck it up and give it a go through three and four. We were almost there. Almost, but not quite. But it's great for Logan. I'm so happy for him. He's had a really great year and really been coming on strong. For him to get into victory lane is a really great boost for him over the winter and for the start of his next year. I think if he stays here in Indy Pro, he'll be a world championship favorite."

ROBBIE PECORARI (No. 13 Cabo Wabo Tequilla, finished third): "We started off pretty good. We qualified seventh which was real good for the Cabo Wabo Tequila team and from there we basically worked our way forward. Toward the end I made a small mistake going into turn three and that gave the front leaders that gap that we couldn't really make up. But once those two started working together as teammates, we just kind of hung out and finished third."

-credit: irl

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